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Amnesty Hearings

Type AMNESTY HEARING

Starting Date 01 December 1998

Location PALM RIDGE

Day 6

Names CARLSON SIBUKO DLAMINI

Case Number AM 7236/97

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CHAIRPERSON: Mr Sibeko?

MR SIBEKO: The next applicant is Mr Carlson Sibuko Dlamini. His application is on page 164.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Dlamini, can you hear?

MR DLAMINI: Yes.

CHAIRPERSON: Can you please stand and give us your full names?

CARLSON SIBUKO DLAMINI: (sworn states)

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, please sit down.

EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Mr Dlamini, do you confirm that you are also applying for amnesty?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Were you also a member of the Self Defence Unit, Lusaka-A, Thokoza?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: When did you join the Self Defence Unit?

MR DLAMINI: I joined during the year 1993.

MR SIBEKO: Will I be correct to say that you only participated from 1993, early in the year until late or the end of 1993? Is that what you are saying?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Who was your commander?

MR DLAMINI: Mosa Msimango.

MR SIBEKO: Were you involved in the activities or the incidents of violence between the members of the Self Defence and the people that you were fighting with?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Do you mind telling us about those incidents?

MR DLAMINI: I joined during the year 1993. From 1990 I was at a music school, so at that time I wasn't really involved until I came back during early 1993 and I discovered that the situation was bad in the area. I was one of the monitors in my section, looking after the guns or the weapons of the community.

MR SIBEKO: If you say you were looking after those arms, are you by any chance saying those arms were kept at your place, those arms were issued out to the soldiers by yourself? What exactly do you mean by saying you were taking care of those arms?

MR DLAMINI: I was monitoring the guns of the section. I was also one of the people who were able to go out and attack members of the IFP or fight them.

MR SIBEKO: In other words, your position is the same as that of Mr Bongani Radebe who has just testified, inasfar as it relates to the arms that belong to your street where you stayed?

MR DLAMINI: No, that is not the same, I used to monitor the weapons and also go to fight at Mxeleni section.

MR SIBEKO: How many arms did you have in your street?

MR DLAMINI: We had three guns.

MR SIBEKO: Were they all AK47s or did they vary?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Now you'll forgive me Sir, but you will have to explain to us what you actually mean by monitoring. I understand that your position is different to Mr Bongani Radebe, because you used to go to wherever there was an attack. What we want to know is, did you keep the arms at your place and did you issue those arms to the soldiers when you went to those troubled spots?

MR DLAMINI: In my section there were soldiers that I relied upon. I knew as to how to dish out the guns and I wanted responsible people to take those guns, people that I knew would look after the guns properly after having made use of them.

At times I would go to their respective places to check that the guns were still there and still intact after use.

MR SIBEKO: In other words, those arms were not kept at your place?

MR DLAMINI: No.

MR SIBEKO: Now you stated that you also participated in the acts of violence, would you tell us if possible, exactly where and when were you actively involved in the attacks or in the defence, as you might wish to call it?

MR DLAMINI: Because there was this violence in the area - I live next to Slovo area and that is where the IFP usually starts attacking people. We were right at the border of the area where the attacks would be launched first before they go right deep inside the area. I was also at Mshayazafe area. ...(indistinct) two incidents.

MR SIBEKO: You are not in a position to remember as to exactly when you were actively involved, that is maybe in '93 or '94, where you were involved in at Mshayazafe or at Penduka, Buthelezi?

MR DLAMINI: I'm not positive as to the time frame because when you fight or you are in such a situation, especially if it takes place on a daily basis, you are not able to keep track of the days and the dates but I do know that it was during 1993.

MR SIBEKO: In your involvement, would you agree with me that there could be a large number of people whom you might have killed or injured as a result of your shooting? As you say you were also involved when the acts of violence took place.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I would agree because in a fight situation you shoot at them and they shoot at you, so you are not able to tell that so many people were injured and so many died. Are you in a position to tell us about the identity of the people that you might have killed or injured, so you know them?

MR DLAMINI: No, I'm not in a position to tell you that.

MR SIBEKO: So your application is mostly for your involvement in the acts of violence and in distributing the AK47s that you referred to, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: Could you repeat the question please?

MR SIBEKO: Your application is for your involvement in the acts or attacks or acts of violence and in your distribution of the said AK47s to your trusted members of the SDU, as you have put it?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Is there any other incident that you would want us to know, apart from the two that you have just mentioned?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, there is.

MR SIBEKO: You can tell us about it.

MR DLAMINI: There is a certain man by the name of Mr Mavuso who was staying in the same section as myself. I think it was on Xmas day or New Year's Day when this incident took place.

He was with the Khumalo gang and shot about nine of our members. We then decided to call a meeting with the community and a decision was taken that we should deal with this man accordingly. After the meeting a resolution was reached that we approach the landlady to come to the meeting so that we could address the issue. We reported back to the community that the landlady did not want to come to the meeting, as we had called her earlier on.

A decision was reached that the house should be destroyed. I was one of the people who spearheaded the destruction of that house. I played a big role in that.

MR SIBEKO: What did you do to the house, did you burn it down or ...?

MR DLAMINI: As a monitor and a very well-known person, I did not want to get actively involved in burning down the house but we went there and destroyed, broke down the windows as well as the doors and I thereafter left the place for the other ones to burn it down so that I could not be pointed out or I couldn't be identified as having burnt it down.

MR SIBEKO: Now are you in a position to tell us about the nine people who were allegedly killed by the Khumalo gang in the company of Mr Mavuso? Do you know those nine people?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I do know them but I was close to only two of them because they were my neighbours. It was Bhani and Tabelo.

MR SIBEKO: Now when the attack on Bhani and Tabelo and the others took place, did you actually see Mr Mavuso and the Khumalo gang, did you see them doing it or ...?

MR DLAMINI: They arrived at Mr Mavuso's place during the day, a blue E20 kombi, together with IFP members who had red T-shirts and red bandannas. On the very same day that these men were going to be killed, they were travelling in the same kombi and we realised that he was involved.

MR SIBEKO: Before this incident - or let me put it like this, the day this incident took place, did you actually see Mr Mavuso in the company of this group which was in the said kombi?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct, we saw him because I live just close to his house. His house is the third house from my own house, so we were quite close and I was able to see whatever was happening at his place.

MR SIBEKO: Now were you present when either of the nine or the whole nine were shot at?

MR DLAMINI: I wasn't present at that particular time, I was moving around in the area because it was New Year's Eve or Xmas but it was the festive season so I wasn't really at home.

MR SIBEKO: So will I be correct to say that you got it from somebody else that the people who were killed by this Khumalo gang ...(intervention)

MR DLAMINI: I was not told by people, I saw the kombi during the day and I saw it about half past eleven to twelve. It was driving past the shops whilst we were playing dice and gambling.

MR SIBEKO: But Sir, you'd agree with me that at the time the shots were fired you were not present? All that you are saying is - you'll correct me if I'm wrong, you are saying you suspect the kombi to have been involved in the killing because you kept on seeing it during the day, is that what you are saying?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I did see it. I did suspect that they were involved, but what even confirmed my suspicions was that the following day he packed his bags and left his wife and kids in the house and he has never ever returned to the area. That even confirmed out suspicions that he was actually involved.

MR SIBEKO: The AK47 that you were using, what happened to it, Sir? That is the AK47 that you used at Mshayazafe and at Buthelezi.

MR DLAMINI: It was taken by the police.

MR SIBEKO: Your application is for everything that you did - your application for amnesty is for everything that you did whilst you were still a member of the Self Defence Unit, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

MR SIBEKO: Thank you, Mr Chairman, no further questions.

NO FURTHER QUESTIONS BY MR SIBEKO

CHAIRPERSON: Questions?

ADV STEENKAMP: No questions, thank you, Mr Chairman.

NO CROSS-EXAMINATION BY ADV STEENKAMP

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Dlamini, was anything done to Mr Mavuso, was he attacked?

MR DLAMINI: He ran away, he fled the area. He was never at any stage attacked.

ADV SANDI: You say you did not take part in the burning of his house, you only assisted when it was being destroyed, can you explain exactly what you mean by that? Were you throwing stones at this house or how did you go about destroying that house?

MR DLAMINI: What I'm trying to explain here is that as I was a leader in my area I did not want to be seen to be leading the group that was spearheading the destruction. I only went there and pelted the doors as well as the windows with stones and I immediately left the area and left the other ones to continue with the attack and the burning down of the house.

ADV SANDI: Those weapons, those arms which you say were in your possession, how did it come about that you were in possession of those arms, where did you get them?

MR DLAMINI: These were the guns that belonged to our particular section, that is Lusaka-A.

ADV SANDI: Are you able to remember who you gave them to, so that they could go and participate in a fight with the IFP?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, I do.

ADV SANDI: Who was that?

MR DLAMINI: I gave them to Ephraim Mzondo and Herman Marhinqi and one was taken by me.

ADV SANDI: That was for use in which incident?

MR DLAMINI: We were going to use those guns to protect the community. It was not a gun that we'd just take and use it at random or at own free will.

ADV SANDI: Now I think what I mean is, was it for use at the Mshayazafe attack and Penduka?

MR DLAMINI: We used the guns to protect the community from Buthelezi section and further on, but our border or dividing line, or line of demarkation was Buthelezi. That is when we attacked and we stopped at the Buthelezi section.

ADV SANDI: Thank you, Mr Dlamini. Thank you, Chair.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you, Chair.

Mr Dlamini, right at the outset the note I made here was that you only participated in SDU activities during 1993, that's not correct, you actually can't tell whether it was '93 or '94? Can you help me with that?

MR DLAMINI: I had explained that during 1993 I became a member of the SDU. From 1990 up to 1993, or maybe I might as well start from the beginning. From 1988 up to 1993 I was at Fuba, a school of music, so I was not involved in any other incident of violence.

When I finished at the school of music during 1993, I joined the SDU. It is only then that I started getting involved.

ADV GCABASHE: The reason I ask is because you later say that you were involved in the Mshayazafe incident. Now that incident, from the evidence that has led, that incident occurred in 1994, so the note I should have here is that you participated during 1993 through to 1994, yes?

MR DLAMINI: I do not remember the date as well as the days, but from 1993 to 1994 I was involved in all or most of the incidents that took place.

ADV GCABASHE: The other area of activity that has been mentioned to us is that of the gangs, and controlling those gangs in the sense that you would confiscate their weapons if you came across them. Were you involved in that activity at all?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, there were gangs who operated in the area but I was not involved in the patrolling and confiscation of weapons from the gangs.

ADV GCABASHE: Then I take it with regards to your participation in the Mshayazafe incident and the Buthelezi Street incident, that you accept that as a participant, people were possibly killed or injured during that fight?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: And those injuries or the killing could have been as a result of you using your firearm on that occasion?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

ADV GCABASHE: Thank you. Thank you, Chair.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Dlamini, you say that before these activities you were at a music school for about five years, is that correct?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: What did you do, did you study music or what?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And what do you do at the moment?

MR DLAMINI: We are conducting some rehearsals on a daily basis.

CHAIRPERSON: Are you part of a musical group or what?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, we do have a band but it's not a fully fledged band because we are still waiting for our member, one of our members who is overseas. We are planning to release an album later this year or early next year.

CHAIRPERSON: Now you then came back and you found that the area was engulfed in conflict, fighting, is that right?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And you say that you were one of the leaders, you were well-known, you were well-known in the area, is that right?

MR DLAMINI: No, not one of the well-known leaders. I could put it like this, I was a leader in my section, in my particular section. I was a leader I could say on a small scale, not a national leader or a leader for the whole area but for my section in particular.

CHAIRPERSON: Or you might be better known as a musician than a fighter?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: But now there were three AK47 rifles that you referred to, and those belonged to Lusaka-A. That was purchased I assume, with the funds that were collected by the community?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And were those three firearms allocated to you to issue them to responsible people and to monitor the use of those arms?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: So in that process you kept one for yourself and you gave the other two to the two members, I assume, of the Self Defence Unit that you have referred to in your testimony, would that be right?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And then those two firearms that you had actually issued to other persons, you would keep an eye on them, you would monitor them just to satisfy yourself that they are not being abused? Would that be right?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Were those two firearms that you had actually handed out to your two comrades, did they never actually come back into your possession physically?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct, Sir. They were confiscated by the police. What led to the police confiscating those guns was that the fight was now over, I took those three AK47s and gave them to Ephraim Mzondo, who is quite a responsible guy who doesn't drink or smoke. So I gave the guns to him to keep them.

The police were conducting their regular search and they went over to Ephraim's place and they confiscated the guns. He was also arrested and kept in custody.

CHAIRPERSON: But during the period when the AK47s were in use, you would satisfy yourself that Ephraim and the other person were using the guns for the purpose for which you had handed it to them. In other words, to engage in fighting with the people who were attacking the community?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Would it be correct to assume that you would have had the authority to withdraw those firearms if you were not satisfied that those two SDU members were using the arms properly?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct, as a monitor in my section or street, I had to take exceptionally good care of the use of guns as well as the guns themselves.

CHAIRPERSON: And if you say that you had to take care of the guns themselves, would that include ensuring that they are in, they are operative, not faulty?

MR DLAMINI: Could you please repeat your question and rephrase it? What faults are you referring to?

CHAIRPERSON: Alright, I shall do that. It was part of your responsibility to ensure that those guns were always in working condition, so in other words if there would be some or other fault with the firearm, Ephraim or the other person would come back to you and say "Look please, this thing is not working properly, could you please sort it out?". Would that be correct?

MR DLAMINI: No, I would not agree with that. These guns never had any faults, but in case the guns did have faults I would have taken them back to my commander because I didn't have any experience with guns that would probably have had faults.

CHAIRPERSON: Yes, I think you have answered the point that I was really trying to raise with you in this question.

So all in all these guns would have been used quite frequently in fighting?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: And they were always in working condition?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct, we've never experienced any problems with faulty guns, especially myself. Speaking for myself, I have never had that problem. I don't know with regard to the others.

CHAIRPERSON: Now, I think you've already told us that, perhaps not directly, but that in both the incidents that you had referred to, the Mshayazafe incident and what is referred to as the Buthelezi incident, if I understand it correctly, it is also referred to as the Penduka incident, but in both those two you had your firearm with you and you had fired shots at the opposition?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now we already have fair information about those two incidents. The third one that you've referred to in respect of Mr Mavuso, was that during the festive period in 1993, when that incident happened?

MR DLAMINI: No, it wasn't during Xmas period, it could have been New Year's Eve or New Year's Day but not Xmas.

CHAIRPERSON: So you are referring to the period end of 1993/beginning of 1994, that's when this particular incident had happened?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now whose house was it actually that was destroyed?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, it was Mr Mavuso's house.

CHAIRPERSON: Was that after he had abandoned his family?

MR DLAMINI: Could you repeat the question please?

CHAIRPERSON: Was that after Mr Mavuso had abandoned his family, as you explained to us? The day after the killing of the nine persons, he had just packed up and left.

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct.

MR SIBEKO: So that house, you say it's about three houses from your own, that was burnt down, would that be correct?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: With the possessions inside?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct. We wanted Mr Mavuso. We were able to evacuate his wife as well as the children because we knew that they were innocent, we did not want them to get caught in the crossfire.

CHAIRPERSON: So did you actually go to the house, you looked for Mr Mavuso, you discovered that he had left, you found the wife and the children and then you removed them from the house and then the house was destroyed?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Nobody was injured in that incident?

MR DLAMINI: I've already explained that we did not want his family members, we wanted him in particular because he was the culprit as far as we were concerned, so got injured in the incident.

CHAIRPERSON: Was this action undertaken by the members of the Self Defence Unit, the destruction of the house?

MR DLAMINI: The SDU I could say was controlled or governed by the members of the community, not vice

versa.

CHAIRPERSON: So in other words, the community had taken a decision at the meeting that the house should be destroyed and the Self Defence Unit members executed that decision?

MR DLAMINI: Yes, that is correct. If the community has taken a decision, they can also as members of the community get involved in executing that decision, it was not a job specifically designated for the SDUs.

CHAIRPERSON: But were the SDU members taking the initiative in executing that decision of the community? In other words, they were leading the execution?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Now although you left, and I think you explained to us you left purposely, before the house was burnt you agreed with that action, you associated yourself with that action of burning the house?

MR DLAMINI: That is correct.

CHAIRPERSON: Has that house be re-occupied and repaired, or what has happened to it?

MR DLAMINI: The house had been renovated. Mavuso has also come back into the area and he is living in the house because now there is a spirit of peace and there's communication between us and himself.

CHAIRPERSON: And is the family back as well, the wife and the children?

MR DLAMINI: We saw him yesterday putting some of his possessions and packing them into the house and some of the members of his family were with him.

CHAIRPERSON: Mr Dlamini, thank you. Mr Sibeko, re-examination?

MR SIBEKO: None, Mr Chairman, thank you.

NO RE-EXAMINATION BY MR SIBEKO

CHAIRPERSON: Thank you, Mr Dlamini, you are excused. Good luck with your album.

MR DLAMINI: Thank you.

WITNESS EXCUSED

 
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